USA Volleyball made it official Wednesday: the game’s nationwide governing physique has banned influential and scandal-stained volleyball coach Rick Butler for all times after its ethics and eligibility committee held a listening to Monday and located that the 63-year-old Butler had “engaged in a number of acts in violation of USA Volleyball’s Bylaws.”
Butler had already issued a press release to the Every day Information via his attorneys on Jan. eight that stated he had obtained a lifetime ban from USA Volleyball final month. Butler stated the ban got here on account of his violating “some unknown rule.” Twenty-three years in the past, USA Volleyball had issued a lifetime ban to Butler, solely to reinstate him once more in 2000, albeit in an administrative position. The 1995 ban got here after three of Butler’s former gamers testified earlier than a USAV ethics panel that Butler had sexually abused them in the course of the 1980s, when all three had been youngsters taking part in on Butler’s groups.
USA Volleyball stated Wednesday that on Dec. 11, the ethics and eligibility committee listening to panel had discovered that Butler “had violated a protecting order,” which was issued to guard the privateness of alleged victims who had come ahead with new allegations in opposition to Butler. USAV stated Butler had launched the names of the alleged victims to the general public.
Sarah Powers-Barnhard, who testified in Monday’s listening to, was additionally one of many three ladies who testified in opposition to Butler in ’95. Powers-Barnhard additionally filed a lawsuit in Florida in opposition to the Beginner Athletic Union in 2016, accusing the group of violating the state’s Misleading and Unfair Practices Act by permitting Butler to teach in AAU-sanctioned occasions. The AAU’s insurance policies bar membership to people accused of sexual misconduct. Powers-Barnhard’s go well with continues to be open.
“I am overwhelmed with feelings and I simply actually hope this unimaginable sport does the best factor relating to the AAU and the JVA (Junior Volleyball Affiliation),” Christine Tuzi, one other of the ladies who testified in opposition to Butler in ’95, instructed The Information. “He’ll proceed to immerse himself with the younger woman athletes if they do not observe the game’s highest governing physique and ban him as effectively.” Tuzi instructed The Information in a 2016 interview that Butler impregnated her when she was 18, after which instructed her to “eliminate it,” leading to Tuzi having an abortion.
“We’re very grateful for the brave ladies who got here ahead,” Lori Okimura, the chairwoman of the USAV Board of Administrators, stated in a press release connected to Wednesday’s announcement. “USA Volleyball is dedicated, via the U.S. Heart for SafeSport program, to ridding our sport of coaches and others who interact in hurtful actions in opposition to athletes and younger individuals. We are going to proceed to have zero tolerance for this sort of conduct.”
Athletes and sports activities figures accused of sexual harassment or assault
Butler didn’t situation any additional remark after Wednesday’s announcement. He selected to not attend the USA Volleyball listening to Monday, which was held in Denver. Butler is the founding father of the influential Sports activities Efficiency volleyball coaching heart in Aurora, In poor health., and he is been a robust determine within the sport for over three a long time, regardless of being dogged by the sexual abuse claims. He has by no means confronted prison prices.
Nancy Reno, who performed on Butler’s groups within the ’80s, however who says she was not abused by him, was elated to listen to Wednesday’s information.
“I’m so very grateful, not just for my former teammates at Sports activities Efficiency who suffered egregious and unspeakable abuse by Rick Butler, but in addition for the prospect of future generations of younger athletes to be higher protected against such predators,” Reno instructed The Information. “Maybe now could be lastly the time for the highly effective and willfully ignorant Beginner Athletic Affiliation to publicly acknowledge these critical accusations, and observe go well with.”